Posts Tagged ‘Apple of Discord’

►Greek Mythology: “Aphrodite, Goddess of Love and Beauty”:

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"Venus Verticordia" ("Venus the Changer of Hearts") by Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1868).-

“Venus Verticordia” (“Venus the Changer of Hearts”) by Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1868).-

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Aphrodite (In ancient greek Ἀφροδίτη”arisen from the foam”. Roman equivalent: Venus) was the goddess of Love, Beauty and Eternal Youth, arousing desire to gods and humans. In addition, she was connected to the death/rebirth of nature and was also considered a protectress of sailors.

Aphrodite’s symbols were the girdle. the seashell and the mirror. Her sacred animal was the dove.

According to Hesiod’s “Theogony”, she was created from the foam of the waters of the sea, in the fragrant island of Cyprus, when the Titan Cronos  slew his father, the major Titan Ouranos, and threw then his genitals into the sea.

Hesiod’s reference to Aphrodite’s having been born from the sea inspired the Renaissance artist Botticelli’s famous painting of the goddess on a giant scallop shell. 

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"The Birt of Venus" by Sandro Botticelli (1486).-

“The Birth of Venus” by Sandro Botticelli (1486).-

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Homer, on the other hand, said that she was the daughter of Zeus and Dione.

When the Trojan prince Paris was asked to judge which of three Olympian goddesses was the most beautiful, he chose Aphrodite over Hera and Athena and gave her the Golden Apple which was labeled “To the Fairest”.

The latter two had hoped to bribe him with power and victory in battle, but Aphrodite offered the love of the most beautiful woman in the world.

This was Helen of Sparta, who became infamous as Helen of Troy when Paris subsequently eloped with her. In the ensuing Trojan War, Hera and Athena were implacable enemies of Troy while Aphrodite was loyal to Paris and the Trojans.

In Homer’s “Iliad”, Aphrodite saves Paris when he is about to be killed in single combat by Menelaus. The goddess wraps him in a mist and spirits him away, setting him down in his own bedroom in Troy. She then appears to Helen in the guise of an elderly handmaiden and tells her that Paris is waiting for her.

Helen recognizes the goddess in disguise and asks if she is being led once more to ruin. For Aphrodite had bewitched her into leaving her husband Menelaus to run off with Paris. She dares to suggest that Aphrodite go to Paris herself.

Suddenly furious, the goddess warns Helen not to go too far, lest she be abandoned to the hatred of Greeks and Trojans alike.

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"Venus convinces Helen to go with Paris" by Angelica Kauffman (1790).-

“Venus induces Helen to fall in love with Paris” (detail)  by Angelica Kauffman (1790).-

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“The Judgment of Paris” by Luca Giordano (1681-1683).-

“The Judgment of Paris” by Luca Giordano (1681-1683).-

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”Golden Apple of Discord” by Jacob Jordaens (1633).-

”Golden Apple of Discord” by Jacob Jordaens (1633).-

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Another case in which Aphrodite came to the aid of a mortal hero also happened to involve golden apples. When the heroine Atalanta agreed to wed who beat her in a foot race, Aphrodite favored Hippomenes with a peck of golden fruit.

By strewing these apples on the race course, Hippomenes caused Atalanta to become distracted, reason why she lost the race.

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“Atlanta and Hippomenes” by Willem van Herp (1632).-

“Atlanta and Hippomenes” by Willem van Herp (1632).-

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In a different ocassion, Zeus punished Aphrodite for beguiling her fellow gods into inappropriate romances.

He caused her to become infatuated with the mortal Anchises. That’s how she came to be the mother of Aeneas. She protected this hero during the Trojan War and its aftermath, when Aeneas quested to Italy and became the mythological founder of a line of Roman emperors.

A minor Italic goddess named Venus became identified with Aphrodite, and that’s how she got her Roman name. It is as Venus that she appears in the “Aeneiad”, Virgil’s epic of the founding of Rome.

In the “Iliad”, Homer tells how Aphrodite intervened in battle to save her son Aeneas, who was obviously,  a Trojan ally. 

The Greek hero Diomedes, who had been on the verge of killing Aeneas, attacked the goddess herself, wounding her on the wrist. Aphrodite promptly dropped Aeneas, who was rescued by Apollo, another Olympian sponsor of the Trojan.

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"Venus with Iapis Tending the Wounded Aeneas" by Francesco Solimena (1695).-

“Venus with Iapis Tending the Wounded Aeneas” by Francesco Solimena (1695).-

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"Venus Presenting Arms to Aeneas" by Nicolas Poussin (1639_.-

“Venus Presenting Arms to Aeneas” by Nicolas Poussin (1639_.-

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"Venus Directing Aeneas and Achates to Carthage" by  Angelica Kauffmann (1768).-

“Venus Directing Aeneas and Achates to Carthage” by Angelica Kauffmann. (1768).-

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►”The Aphrodite of Cnidos” by Praxiteles and Other Sculptures of Aphrodite based on it:

 Engraving of a coin from Knidos showing the Aphrodite of Cnidus, by Praxiteles.


Coin from Cnidos showing the Aphrodite of Cnidus, by Praxiteles.

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“The Aphrodite of Cnidos” or “Cnidian Aphrodite” was one of the most famous works of the ancient greek sculptor Praxiteles (4th century BC, Classic Period). 

The statue  became famous for its beauty, meant to be appreciated from every angle, and for being the first life-size representation of the nude female form.  

Praxiteles probably used the courtesan Phryne as a model.

The Cnidian Aphrodite has not survived. Possibly the statue was removed to Constantinople and was lost in a fire.

The original statue supposedly depicted Aphrodite as she prepared for the ritual bath that restored her purity (not virginity), discarding her drapery in her left hand, while modestly shielding herself with her right hand.

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►Slideshare: Most Well Known Variations on “The Aphrodite of Cnidos”:

(Note: Click on any sculpture for further technical details on it)

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►Links Post:
http://www.mythweb.com/encyc/entries/aphrodite.html
https://ladysighs.wordpress.com/2015/02/01/greek-9-aphrodite/
http://gogreece.about.com/cs/mythology/a/mythaphrodite.htm
http://ancienthistory.about.com/cs/grecoromanmyth1/p/Aphrodite.htm
http://www.greek-gods.info/greek-gods/aphrodite/aphrodite-paintings.php
https://micromythos.wordpress.com/2015/02/01/the-weirdest-births-of-mythology/
 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aphrodite_of_Cnidus
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Greek Mythology:

“Agamemnon’s Family and the War of Troy”:

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The war originated from a quarrel between the goddesses Athena, Hera and Aphrodite after Eris, the goddess of strife and discord, gave them a golden apple, sometimes known as the Apple of Discord, marked “for the fairest” (Kallisti in greek).

Zeus sent the goddesses to Paris, who judged that Aphrodite, as the “fairest”, should receive the apple. In exchange, Aphrodite made Helen, the most beautiful of all women and wife of Menelaus, fall in love with Prince Paris, who took her to Troy.

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"Venus Induces Helen to Fall in Love with Paris" by Angelica Kauffmann.-

“Venus Induces Helen to Fall in Love with Paris” by Angelica Kauffmann (1790).-

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Agamemnon,  the king of Argos or Mycenae, was  the husband of Clytemnestra and the father of Iphigenia, Electra, Orestes and Chrysotemis. 

Menelaus was Agamemnon’ s brother, and, besides, the king of Sparta. 

When Helen, Menelaus’ wife, was abducted by Paris of Troy, Agamemnon commanded the united Greek armed forces in the ensuing Trojan War.

Greek forces gathered at Aulis. However,  weak winds prevented the fleet from sailing. The priest Calchas said the winds would be favorable if Agamemnon sacrificed his daughter Iphigenia to the goddess Artemis.

Agamemnon persuaded his wife Clytemnestra to send Iphigenia by deceptively telling her that the purpose of his daughter’s visit was to marry her to Achilles, the greek heroe.

The trojan War ended with the Achaean’s (or greek’s ) victory. 

The Greeks tricked the Trojans. They made them know that they had won the war by sending all their ships into hiding. This made the Trojans believe they were gone. As a parting gift, the Greeks had left a wooden horse which the Trojans brought into their city. Inside of it there were lots of achaeans soldiers. Once in the city of Troy, the Greeks came off, slaughtered the Trojans and desecrated their temples. 

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Building of the Trojan Horse" by Giandomenico Tiepolo (1774).-

“Building of the Trojan Horse” by Giandomenico Tiepolo (1774).-

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Click above for further analisis and details on Tiepolo’s painting. Slideshare feature.

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The war lasted ten years and ended with the wooden horse episode and after the deaths of many heroes, including the Achaeans Achilles and Ajax, and the Trojans Hector and Paris.  

During this period of Agamemnon’s long absence, his wife Clytemnestra began a love affair with Aegisthus, her husband’s cousin. 

Upon Agamemnon’s return from Troy, he was murdered (according to the oldest surviving account, Homer´s “Odyssey”) by Aegisthus, the lover of his wife, Clytemnestra.

In some later versions Clytemnestra helps him or kills herself Agamemnon, like Aeschylus tells us in “The Oresteia”. 

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Aeschylus’s Oresteia: “A Tragedy in Three Plays”:

The best-known version of Agamemnon ‘s death and the following events related to the war of Troy is that of Aeschylus’s  “Oresteia”, a three -act drama of family fate, like the “Oedipus trilogy” by Sophocles. The term “Oresteia” originally probably referred to all four plays, but today is generally used to designate only the surviving trilogy. 

The parts of “The Oresteia” are: First: “Agamemnon”. Second: The Libation Bearers. Third and last play: “The Eumenides”.

In the first one, (“Agamemnon”) Clytemnestra herself  murders his husband Agamemnon.

In the second part (“The Libation Bearers”) Clytemnestra is murdered by his son Orestes.

In the  third and last play,”The Eumenides”, Orestes is judged by a jury composed of Athena and twelve Athenians. After being counted, the votes on each side are equal. Athena declares that tied juries will result in the defendant (Orestes) being acquitted as mercy should always take precedence over harshness.

For further details on this topic, check out this article: “Background and Images for the Oresteia“.

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Links Post:
http://www.stanford.edu/~plomio/history.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trojan_War
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agamemnon
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clytemnestra
https://www.greatbooks.org/resources/guides/drama/the-oresteia/
http://ancienthistory.about.com/od/poetsplaywrightswriters/a/oresteia.htm

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